Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Which Fictional/Sci Fi Character are You?

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?



I came out Harry Potter:


Gifted and studious, you willingly approach the perils ahead with the help of your talents and friends.

"I don't go looking for trouble. Trouble usually finds me."

Harry Potter is a character in the Harry Potter series.


& I've never even read a Harry Potter book.

You can take the quiz here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

La La La

Judge Orders Hawaii's Kamehameha Schools to Admit Student Who Challenged Hawaiians-Only Policy
8/21/03 0:54AM
By BRUCE DUNFORD, Associated Press Writer

A federal judge on Wednesday ordered the exclusive Kamehameha Schools to admit a 12-year-old student pending a decision in the boy's civil rights challenge to the school's Hawaiians-only admissions policy.

U.S. District Judge David Ezra stressed that the preliminary injunction does not indicate whether he feels the private school's admissions policies are legal or not.

. . .


Admissions are highly prized, both for the quality of education and the low cost compared to other private schools. About 4,400 Hawaiian and part-Hawaiian students attend the schools. Non-Hawaiians are admitted if there are openings, after Hawaiians who meet the criteria have been offered admission, school officials say.

Last year, the first non-Hawaiian admitted to Kamehameha Schools in 40 years created an uproar by the alumni and in the Hawaiian community. This year, no non-Hawaiians were admitted.

The school was sued in June by another student who also challenged the admissions policy as a violation of federal civil rights law. A hearing in that case is scheduled Nov. 17, and it is possible that the courts could decide to consolidate the two cases.

NY taxpayers fund a homosexuals-only school. At least, the Hawaiian school is private. I need to find a support group for white heterosexuals.

Friday, August 15, 2003

Power Outage. Ho-hum


I cannot believe the fuss over the stupid power outage in the NE. Doesn't even sound like they expect it to last a whole 24 hours. I'm sorry to be callous, but c'mon guys!

OK, look, the people without water in Cleveland - that's a big deal. The miners stuck 4,000 feet underground in Ottawa, THAT's a big deal!!

The pasty NYC dweeb who'll miss his meetings tomorrow? Couldn't care less. Somehow, I think the sun will continue to rise and set even if Mr. Pasty-face has to reschedule.

People wonder why I don't watch TV. I wonder why people do. I broke down and turned on the news last night when I heard about the power outage. It was a useless waste of time. I've no idea whether or not power will be restored to the critical cities first (that would be the cities without water, not the cities without meetings). I've no idea if those miners are going to be okay, if we (or somebody) will be airlifting generators to the mine, or what. I do know that NYC-ers are bravely foregoing meetings, and think they are pretty darn tough for doing so.

sheesh.

Thursday, August 14, 2003

Say hi!

Somebody is actually coming to visit me! Hello, Somebody! If you click on 'Shout out' below (if it's there!) you can say 'hi!'

I'd like that!

sigh. lots of typos below, but as usual blogspot won't let me edit and correct. grrrr.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Achtung, Artists!
You modern artist people irritate me, ya know that? Ya know why? 'Cuz you suck, that's why. I shall delineate below the specifics aspects of your suckiness, which include but may not be limited to:

(a) Your artistic vision is invariably ugly. In your depictions of ugliness, you preen yourselves on your brave portrayal of the 'real' human experience. News Flash: Goodness and beauty are also part of the human experience. Hope is part of the human experience. Striving to better oneself is a daily portion of all decent people's daily experience. Take off your blinders!!
(b) Ugly is easy. Ugly is cheap. Ugly is quick. Ugly requires no work and little creativity. Anybody can make ugly. Ugly art is the product of lazy people with blinders on.
(c) You're hypocrites and thieves. First, you use the Government Gun to take money from taxpayers (like me!) to fund your ugly art. You must do this because no one in their right mind will actually pay their own money for the crap you produce - thus theft. THEN, when a taxpayer like me protests the crap produced with MY money, you holler censorship and violation of the 1st amendment. Ponder this, my hypocritical little thieves: when money is taken from my pocket to make a statement I disagree with, whose rights of expression are being violated? When money is taken from my pocket to blaspheme the G-d I believe in, whose religion is being oppressed? Differentiate, my dears, between free speech and paid speech. I take back my 1st sentence - you are not hypocrites and thieves; you are mean and stupid hypocrites and thieves.
(d) You're a narcissistic little group, producing for yourselves and your contacts. Like some festering mass of corn smut, you cluster together to see who can out-ugly, out-trash, out-degrade the other. If your art speaks to the soul at all, it speaks to a nasty, shrivelled, tiny, soul cowering in some dark, dank corner full of mice and spiders.

Take off your blinders and step out into the sunshine. Art can be helpful. It can aspire people to reach for the stars - to dream - to dare; yes, all those cliches you and your sad buddies sneer at from your (cough, cough) 'enlightened' lofty self-proclaimed pedestal. Stop sneering. Step out of your dank, musty corner. Open your eyes. Live.




This is the saddest, truest article I've ever read. Unless we (in and out of the US) can come up with a better way to monitor and remove judges, we're screwed.

Monday, August 11, 2003

What a nice, tolerant country this is, where even idjits can have their own website!


This site has Firearm availability listed as a reason for suicide - has it in the top spot, as a matter of fact. As if a happy, ordinary mortal, spotting a gun, will say "Gee! It would be a waste of a perfectly good gun if I don't commit suicide right now!"


Studies have shown that suicide is not related to gun availability. HOW one commits suicide may vary depending on firearm availability, but not IF.


The site is called 'Texans for Gun Safety.' Man, these guys are really grasping at straws to further their misguided agenda.

August: Pick on People named Powell Month!
Ya''ll know (probably) about the rumors that Colin Powell was planning on retiring, whether or not Bush wins in 2004, and that Colin Powell has denied the rumors.


FCC Chairman Micheal Powell is also not going to retire, despite rumors to the contrary. "How many times do I have to say it? I'm here. . We've got work to do" (Telecom AM, online, 8/7)


Perhaps, somewhere in Washington DC, someone named Powell really is planning on retiring - but not Colin or Michael. Will the real retiree please stand up?

Friday, August 08, 2003

Smarmy Media Defeatists


Sorry, AT&T news, like Yahoo news, moves so fast that I will have to reprint the entire article below, rather than simply linking. The following article left a bad taste in my mouth and I can't pinpoint exactly why. What do you think?



Federal Investigators Say Hijackers, Not Passengers, Deliberately Crashed Flight 93 on 9/11
8/08/03 11:59AM
By TED BRIDIS, Associated Press Writer
211.7 KB, 28K Modem 2:25



A Sept. 11 hijacker in the cockpit of United Airlines Flight 93 instructed terrorist-pilot Ziad Jarrah to crash the jetliner moments before it slammed into a Pennsylvania field because of a fierce passenger uprising in the cabin, recently disclosed testimony by the FBI director shows.

The theory described by FBI Director Robert Mueller, based on the government's analysis of cockpit recordings, discounts the popular perception of insurgent passengers grappling with terrorists inside the cockpit, trying to seize the plane's controls, immediately before the crash.

The government's findings - laid out deep within the July 24 congressional report on the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks - aim to resolve one of the enduring mysteries of the deadliest terror attacks in U.S. history: What happened in the final minutes aboard Flight 93? The newly published excerpts from Mueller's testimony appear at odds with what families of some passengers have come to believe happened.

The FBI strenuously maintains that its analysis does not diminish the heroism of passengers who, with the words "Let's roll," apparently rushed down the airliner's narrow aisle to try to overwhelm the hijackers. In phone calls from the plane, four passengers said they and others decided to fight the hijackers after learning of the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York that morning.

"In the cockpit! In the cockpit!" the passengers are heard yelling, according to Alice Hoglan of Los Gatos, Calif., who was among family members permitted to listen to the cockpit recording. Her son, Mark Bingham, died in the crash. She said the recording and a transcript the FBI provided to her and other families "doesn't leave very much doubt at all that passengers were able to get that cockpit door open."

President Bush and Attorney General John Ashcroft have regularly praised the courage of those aboard Flight 93.

"While no one will ever know exactly what transpired in the final minutes of Flight 93, every shred of evidence indicates this plane crashed because of the heroic actions of the passengers," FBI spokeswoman Susan Whitson said Thursday.

Thirty-three passengers, seven crew members and the four hijackers died when Flight 93 crashed, one of four hijackings that killed more than 3,000 people on Sept. 11.

Citing transcripts of the still-secret cockpit recordings, Mueller told congressional investigators in a closed briefing last year that, minutes before Flight 93 hit the ground, one of the hijackers "advised Jarrah to crash the plane and end the passengers' attempt to retake the airplane."

Hoglan said the FBI's transcript quotes one hijacker after fighting breaks out in the cabin asking another hijacker in the cockpit in Arabic, "Finish her/it now?", and she believed they were discussing whether to crash the plane. The response from the second hijacker, she remembered, was either "wait" or "not now."

Jarrah is thought to have been the terrorist-pilot because he was the only one of the four hijackers aboard known to have a pilot's license. The congressional report also describes the hijackers wearing bandanas and carrying knives, and passengers reported seeing the captain and co-pilot lying on the floor of the first-class section, presumably dead.

Mueller's depiction of the events was disclosed in a brief passage far into the 858-page report to Congress. Previous statements by FBI and other government officials have been ambiguous about what occurred in the cockpit.

The same cockpit recording was played privately in April 2002 for family members of victims aboard Flight 93, and the FBI also provided them with its best effort at producing an understandable transcript. Some family members believe passengers used a food cart as a shield and successfully broke into the cockpit.

"It is totally obvious listening to that flight recorder that they made it into the cockpit," said Deena Burnett, who lost her husband, Thomas E. Burnett Jr., on Flight 93. "You cannot listen to the tape and understand it any other way."

She declined to discuss specifics of the tape because federal prosecutors have asked families not to describe the recording. She remembered hearing a hijacker telling Jarrah in Arabic to crash the plane deliberately, as Mueller described, and Jarrah refusing.

Burnett also said U.S. authorities, including Assistant U.S. Attorney David Novak, told families in April 2002 that the recording indicates passengers made their way into the cockpit.

Hoglan said the hijackers inside the cockpit are heard yelling "No!" at the sound of breaking glass - presumably from the food cart - and that the final spoken words on the recorder seemed to be an inexplicably calm voice in English instructing, "Pull it up."

She said the English voice toward the end of the recording was so distinct that she believes it's evident the speaker was inside the cockpit.

The FBI has been loath to publicly put forward a contradictory theory out of sensitivity to the families and because of uncertainty about what happened.

People who have heard the recording describe it as nearly indecipherable, containing static noises, cockpit alarms and wind interspersed with cries in English and Arabic. Near the end of the tape, sounds can be heard of breaking glass and crashing dishes, lending credence to the theory that passengers used the food cart to rush the cockpit.

Separately, the data recorder showed the plane's wings rocking violently as the jet flew too low and too fast for safe flight.

Intelligence officials believe the likely target for Flight 93 was the White House, based on information from Abu Zubaydah, a senior al-Qaida terrorist leader in U.S. custody who is believed to have played a key role in organizing the Sept. 11 attacks.

Prosecutors have sought a judge's permission to play recordings from Flight 93 during the terrorism trial of Zacarias Moussaoui, the only defendant in a U.S. case prosecutors have directly tied to the attacks. Moussaoui is accused of conspiring with the hijackers. Novak, the prosecutor quoted by Burnett and other family members, is one of the lead attorneys in the Moussaoui case.

The government has said it can link Moussaoui to Jarrah, using a telephone number found on a business card recovered at the Shanksville, Pa., crash site.

Moussaoui has acknowledged allegiance to Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida but says he was not involved in the attacks.

---

On the Net:

Text of the report: http://datacenter.ap.org/wdc/911report.pdf

© 2002 AT&T and The Associated Press. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. The information contained in the AP Online news report may not be republished or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.


For one thing, the question of whether the passengers got control of the plane and deliberately crashed, got control and accidentally crashed it, or whether the passengers' actions forced a decision by the hijackers to crash it themselves early and in the wrong spot, hardly matters. The point is that they tried - and succeeded - to foil the thugs' plan. Even if they had not succeeded, they would have still made the costs of crime higher than if there had been no resistance. That is A Good Thing. Simple economics, guys, we've got to make the price for terrorism high enough to offset any perceived value in thuggishness, and Flight 93 is an inspiration to all of us who don't like thugs. There is a sneering tone in this article that I can't pinpoint, but that makes me want to spit. Is it really there, or I am just so fed up with the media that I'm reading things into it?

Thursday, August 07, 2003

So I'm feeling a little shallow today. So what?




It's rare and refreshing when a government program exceeds expectations!


Trained NYC Hawks Attack Chihuahua
Wed Aug 6, 5:54 PM ET Add U.S. National - AP to My Yahoo!


By LARRY McSHANE, Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK - Trained hawks employed to keep pigeons from making a mess on visitors in a midtown park have been grounded because one of the birds mistook a Chihuahua as its lunch.


AP Photo



An 18-inch hawk swooped down and gouged the diminutive pooch with one of its talons while the dog was nosing around in the bushes of Bryant Park, located behind the landmark New York Public Library.


The hawk was quickly separated from the pooch Tuesday afternoon. A park employee flagged down a cab so the dog's owner could take it to a veterinarian, said Richard Dillon, vice president of security for Bryant Park.


The dog owner asked that her identity not be released.


The program, which aims to scare pigeons out of the park, could be finished. A final decision is expected by the end of the week.


"I sincerely believe the bird mistook it for a rat because it was in the shrubbery," said Thomas Cullen, the falconer hired to run the anti-pigeon program.


The hawk, named Galan, was taken to Cullen's headquarters in Goshen, N.Y.


The Bryant Park Restoration Corp. picked up the vet's bill, Cullen said at a news conference with another of the sharp-taloned birds, Starbuck, perched on his left hand.


Daniel Biederman, executive director of the Bryant Park group, said the hawk program has been a success since it was started in April, with pigeon infestation down 50 percent and fewer complaints from visitors.


However, city Parks Department officials called for its end.


"We place the safety of park users, including their pets, over any minor inconvenience that may be caused by pigeons," said spokeswoman Megan Sheekey.


Some park visitors disagree.


"I don't think this should be done away with because of one misstep," Ward Miller, a lawyer from Glen Ridge, N.J., said of the hawks while taking his daily walk in Bryant Park. "This is a great idea. It's better than the alternatives, like poison."


___


On the Net:


Bryant Park: http://www.bryantpark.org/



I am sorry to have to reprint the entire article here - I would have preferred to link it, but Yahoo moves their articles so fast, and doesn't retain its links!

Scarey!


Go here, and you will see why I was once scared enough of a dolphin to spend 20 minutes grounded on an oysterbed!


While you're at Snopes, take a read of the inboxer rebellion., and refer your friends there too. Watch out for free offers, contests, surverys - READ THE FINE PRINT!! 30 million are signed up on the do not call list to date - hate to see all that hard work go to waste.

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Misc


Have not heard from the MLK Center. This doesn't surprise me, but I am a little disappointed. For all of that, I will NOT be hosting a kegger on MLK's grave, even if such actions are acceptable to the National Park Service and the MLK Center.


I'm tellin' ya, the Harvey Milk High School for Homosexuals is a bad idea. It's going to have, what, 100 students? In NY? Perfect. So here are some things will happen: (a) the children who attend will be known as the homos who think they're too good to associate with the rest of us mere mortals, (b) the small size of the school, the special attention it will receive as a 'test' school, and in particular the attention of the financially well-off gay community (2nd richest demographic group in the US) will all combine to ensure that it's a pretty good school, so there will be some good hetero students claiming to be gay in order to attend, (c) 12/13/14 year olds will be forced to decide and declare their sexual preferences, at a time in their lives when they should be celibate and not having to deal with such things. Sure, I know a lot of them are/will anyway, but they should not be forced into by adults.